Java version history Tutorial
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  • Java version history

    The Java language has undergone several changes since JDK 1.0 as well as numerous additions of classes and packages to the standard library. Since J2SE 1.4, the evolution of the Java language has been governed by the Java Community Process JCP, which uses Java Specification Requests JSRs to propose and specify additions and changes to the Java platform. The language is specified by the Java Language Specification JLS; changes to the JLS are managed under JSR 901.

    In addition to the language changes, other changes have been made to the Java Class Library over the years, which has grown from a few hundred classes in JDK 1.0 to over three thousand in J2SE 5. Entire new APIs, such as Swing and Java2D, have been introduced, and many of the original JDK 1.0 classes and methods have been deprecated. Some programs allow conversion of Java programs from one version of the Java platform to an older one for example Java 5.0 backported to 1.4 see Java backporting tools.

    Java 11 is a currently supported long-term support LTS version "Oracle Customers will receive Oracle Premier Support"; Oracle released for the "legacy" Java 8 LTS the last free "public update" in January 2019 for commercial use, while it will otherwise still support Java 8 with public updates for personal use up to at least December 2020. Java 10 is the previously supported rapid release version. Java 10 support ended on the same date that support for Java 11 began, in September 2018. Java 7 is no longer publicly supported, and Java 9 has stopped receiving updates since Java 9 was a short-term rapid release version that has been superseded by Java 10 and now Java 11. For Java 11, long-term support will not be provided by Oracle for the public; instead, the broader OpenJDK community, as AdoptOpenJDK or others, is expected to perform the work.

    Java 13 General Availability occurred on the 17th of September, and Java 14 has an Early Access build.

    The latest version of Java DK is the 13th. The Java development team is planning to announce the JDK 14 by March 17th, 2020. But they have already revealed some updates of the upcoming version. They include:


    In September 2017, Mark Reinhold, chief Architect of the Java Platform, proposed to change the release train to "one feature release every six months" rather than the current two-year schedule, and later the proposal took effect.

    JDK 1.0

    The first version was released on January 23, 1996. The first stable version, JDK 1.0.2, is called Java 1.

    JDK 1.1

    Major additions in the release on February 19, 1997 included:

    J2SE 1.2

    Codename Playground

    The release on December 8, 1998 and subsequent releases through J2SE 5.0 were rebranded retrospectively Java 2 and the version name "J2SE" Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition replaced JDK to distinguish the base platform from J2EE Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition and J2ME Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition. This was a very significant release of Java as it tripled the size of the Java platform to 1520 classes in 59 packages. Major additions included:

    J2SE 1.3

    Codename Kestrel

    The most notable changes in the May 8, 2000 release were:

    J2SE 1.4

    Codename Merlin

    The February 6, 2002 release was the first release of the Java platform developed under the Java Community Process as JSR 59. Major changes included:

    Public support and security updates for Java 1.4 ended in October 2008. Paid security updates for Oracle customers ended in February 2013.

    J2SE 5.0

    Codename Tiger

    The release on September 30, 2004 was originally numbered 1.5, which is still used as the internal version number. The number was changed to "better reflect the level of maturity, stability, scalability and security of the J2SE". This version was developed under JSR 176.

    J2SE 5.0 entered its end-of-public-updates period on April 8, 2008; updates are no longer available to the public as of November 3, 2009. Updates were available to paid Oracle customers until May 2015.

    Tiger added a number of significant new language features:

    There were also the following improvements to the standard libraries:

    Java 5 is the last release of Java to officially support Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows ME, while Windows Vista was the newest version of Windows that J2SE 5 was supported on prior to Java 5 going end-of-life in October of 2009.

    Java 5 Update 5 1.5.0_05 is the last release of Java to work on Windows 95 with Internet Explorer 5.5 installed and Windows NT 4.0.

    Java 5 was first available on Apple Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and was the default version of Java installed on Apple Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

    Public support and security updates for Java 1.5 ended in November 2009. Paid security updates for Oracle customers ended in April 2015.

    This version introduced a new versioning system for the Java language, although the old versioning system continued to be used for developer libraries:

    Both version numbers "1.5.0" and "5.0" are used to identify this release of the Java 2 Platform Standard Edition. Version "5.0" is the product version, while "1.5.0" is the developer version. The number "5.0" is used to better reflect the level of maturity, stability, scalability and security of the J2SE.

    This correspondence continued through later releases Java 6 = JDK 1.6, Java 7 = JDK 1.7, and so on.

    Java SE 6

    Codename Mustang

    As of the version released on December 11, 2006, Sun replaced the name "J2SE" with Java SE and dropped the ".0" from the version number. Internal numbering for developers remains 1.6.0.

    This version was developed under JSR 270.

    During the development phase, new builds including enhancements and bug fixes were released approximately weekly. Beta versions were released in February and June 2006, leading up to a final release that occurred on December 11, 2006.

    Major changes included in this version:

    Java 6 can be installed to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard running on 64-bit Core 2 Duo and higher processor machines. Java 6 is also supported by both 32-bit and 64-bit machines running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

    Java 6 reached the end of its supported life in February 2013, at which time all public updates, including security updates, were scheduled to be stopped. Oracle released two more updates to Java 6 in March and April 2013, which patched some security vulnerabilities.

    After Java 6 release, Sun, and later Oracle, released several updates which, while not changing any public API, enhanced end-user usability or fixed bugs.

    The -XX:+DoEscapeAnalysis option directs the HotSpot JIT compiler to use escape analysis to determine if local objects can be allocated on the stack instead of the heap.

    Some developers have noticed an issue introduced in this release which causes debuggers to miss breakpoints seemingly randomly. Sun has a corresponding bug, which is tracking the issue. The workaround applies to the Client and Server VMs. Using the -XX:+UseParallelGC option will prevent the failure. Another workaround is to roll back to update 13, or to upgrade to update 16.

    Java SE 7

    Java 7 codename Dolphin is a major update that was launched on July 7, 2011 and was made available for developers on July 28, 2011. The development period was organized into thirteen milestones; on June 6, 2011, the last of the thirteen milestones was finished. On average, 8 builds which generally included enhancements and bug fixes were released per milestone. The feature list at the OpenJDK 7 project lists many of the changes.

    Additions in Java 7 include:

    Lambda Java's implementation of lambda functions, Jigsaw Java's implementation of modules, and part of Coin were dropped from Java 7, and released as part of Java 8 except for Jigsaw, which was released in Java 9.

    Java 7 was the default version to download on from April 2012 until Java 8 was released.

    Oracle issued public updates to the Java 7 family on a quarterly basis until April 2015 when the product reached the end of its public availability. Further updates for JDK 7, which are scheduled to continue until Jul 2022, are only made available to customers with a support contract.

    Java SE 8

    Java 8 was released on March 18, 2014, and included some features that were planned for Java 7 but later deferred.

    Work on features was organized in terms of JDK Enhancement Proposals JEPs.

    Java 8 is not supported on Windows XP but as of JDK 8 update 25, it can still be installed and run under Windows XP. Previous updates of JDK 8 could be run under XP, but had to be installed after a forced installation by directly unzipping files from the installation executable.

    From October 2014, Java 8 was the default version to download and then again the download replacing Java 9 from the official website. "Oracle will continue to provide Public Updates and auto updates of Java SE 8, until at least the end of December 2020 for Personal Users, and January 2019 for Commercial Users".

    Java SE 9

    Java SE 9 was made available on September 21, 2017, due to controversial acceptance of the current implementation of Project Jigsaw by Java Executive Committee, which led Oracle to fix some open issues and concerns, and to refine some critical technical questions. In the last days of June 2017, Java Community Process expressed nearly unanimous consensus on the proposed Module System scheme.

    The first Java 9 release candidate was released on August 9, 2017. The first stable release of Java 9 was on September 21, 2017.

    At JavaOne 2011, Oracle discussed features they hoped to release for Java 9 in 2016. Java 9 should include better support for multi-gigabyte heaps, better native code integration, a different default garbage collector G1, for "shorter response times" and a self-tuning JVM. In early 2016, the release of Java 9 was rescheduled for March 2017 and later again postponed four more months to July 2017.

    Java SE 10

    OpenJDK 10 was released on March 20, 2018, with twelve new features confirmed. Among these features were:

    Java SE 11

    JDK 11 was released on September 25, 2018 and the version is currently open for bug fixes. It offers LTS, or Long Term Support. Among others, Java 11 includes a number of new features, such as:

    A number of features from previous releases were dropped; in particular, Java applets and Java Web Start are no longer available.

    Java SE 12

    JDK 12 was released on March 19, 2019. Among others, Java 12 includes a number of new features, such as:

    Java SE 13

    JDK 13 was released on September 17, 2019. Java 13 includes the following new features, as well as "hundreds of smaller enhancements and thousands of bug fixes".